Sunday, March 31, 2013

Grimm, Season 2, Episode 16: Nameless

“Then he seized his left foot with both hands in such a fury that he split in two.”

We start at a party for the launch of a new computer game, with Jenna, the designer getting accolades and everyone partying and being happy while in the back room, a Wesen starts dripping toxic nastiness onto the floor. Jenna and Brody, one of her team, sneak out of the party into the darkened office to have sex on the desk - while the monster drips acid inches away. Jenna hears something move and comes to her senses, realises she’s at work and leaves quickly. Brody goes to see who it is making the noise – and gets gutted by the toxic clawed, robed wesen. Jenna hears the noise and comes back to find him – sliced in half and still alive. Ouch.

Renard gets a call from his contact in Vienna who arranges to talk to him – while Renard’s brother’s still out of town keeping the risk minimal. But the man is being watched.

Juliette goes home nervously and slowly, checking round the corners. She invites the spirits or whatever in the house to talk to her – and then complains about talking to herself.

And at the scene of the party, Nick, Hank and Wu examine Brody’s body and see that not only has he been cut in 2 but the wound was cauterised by some kind of acid. On the wall the words “Play my Game” are written in blood. Speaking to Brody’s boss they learn that Jenna’s team (the other 2 members being Vicky and Rashid) had created a new code that vastly increased the number of players an online game could host before it slowed down – making it a new industry standard and worth a lot of money and he knew about Brody and Jenna.

While talking to Vicky, her phone rings. Putting it on speaker they hear a distorted voice say “Play my Game”. They check the number and the call is coming from inside building in Brody’s old office. Down there they find no-one but they find Brody’s ID cut in half and title pages to Alice in Wonderland, A Connecticut Yankie in King Arthur’s Court, and Rage with the words “What’s My Name?” written on them.

Back at the police station they consult with Renard and Wu shows them the surveillance cameras were all shut off before the murder. Wu has read all of the books and says they’re all fantasy and may be connected with the computer game – Black Forest 2 – the team were working on which is a connection he’ll work on being a gamer. Hank wonders if it’s Wesen – and I love that he can do that around both Nick and Renard.

Nick goes home (he’s still living with Monroe) and Monroe has never heard of a Wesen who slices someone in half (they also have an excellent room mate side poke over Nick’s sock, I do love how these guys interact). Monroe compliments Nick on how well he’s handling Juliette (and I love the “you are a Grimm so you are used to a certain amount of pain and suffering). Nick gets a call from Jenna’s boss, he’s remembered that before dating Brody, Jenna dated someone called Ridley Cooper and maybe the break up wasn’t amicable. Cut to a man using very advanced computers to play Sodoku. I think we’re supposed to be impressed and it’s probably supposed to be Ridley.

Juliette wakes up in the middle of the night to another Nick ghost (a soaking wet one at that) – silently saying something. She touches him and it disappears

Nick and Hank go to see Ridley and his sister Deborah (who’s a lovely person and not totally obsessed honest) who are game testing Black Forest 2. They were both online all last night and their details should have been recorded by the company. They tell him that Brody is dead and they ask in real life –his avatar in game was cut in half last night as well – 3 hours before he was really killed. By a character called Nameless, apparently a major player.

At the police station, Wu has solved the riddle since all 3 authors used pseudonyms. This is supposed to be a clue for Nameless. Nick has the idea of staking out Nameless in the game, following the character around.

At the Spice Shop we have a sweet moment between Monroe and Rosalie, him giving her a clock that belonged to his great grandfather and is very impressive. Juliette arrives and tells them of the ghost and Monroe remembers that before she went into the coma it was raining hard and both of them were soaked. The ghost may be Juliette’s memories coming back. But she doesn’t want to tell Nick because she knows there are things both Nick and Monroe are keeping from her. She wants Monroe and Rosalie to come to her house and when she sees something she can describe it them and they can tell her what it means.

Renard gets a call saying his contact is there and they plan to meet.

Hank and Nick go to see the boss and he tells them he can track IPs but it won’t tell them where the person is (at last someone is introducing some sense – I thought for a horrible moment they were actually going to create characters and follow Nameless around). He pulls up an image of what Nameless is doing and they see him cut another character in half – Vicky’s character.

They call Vicky and tell her to secure her house and send police round. She closes the windows and in one reflection we see a robed figure with long claws behind her. Jenna gets a call on her mobile apparently from Vicky and the same voice asks “have you guessed my name?” he tells her Vicky is dying to give her the next clue. Jenna calls Nick which prompts him to break into Vicky’s house with Hank and Wu.

Inside Vicky is chopped in 2. Wu calls the precinct to have Rashid and Jenna brought in. On the table is a sodoku impaled with a knife with “Guess my Name” written on the wall in blood. Wu, again, takes over solving the puzzle.

Rosalie and Monroe join Juliette at home and Juliette asks how Rosalie met Nick and she says her brother was murdered. And Juliette sees another ghost Nick – of him reading a book with a torch. When she tries to touch it it disappears again.

Wu solves the Sodoku and the highlighted numbers spell out a time, 7:15 on the 12th of March, but not a place – they talk to Jenna to see if it means anything. But then Wu’s puzzle solving and Jenna’s memory comes up with Nom de Plume (hence the pseudonymous books) a restaurant the IT guy asked Jenna to go to. He came out to help them in the middle of the night when her computer broke when they were struggling to meet a deadline and he agreed to help if she went out with him and Jenna stood him up. And she didn’t remember anything about him – name or appearance. Renard doesn’t understand why he would become murderous over being stood up and there must be more to it – Hank suggests that he helped her out with the revolutionary code for the game. When they all collapsed from exhaustion the IT guy said he could fix the code, when they woke up he was gone and the code was finished. As Hank puts it – the IT guy whose name and face she can’t remember saved them all. Renard arranges to put her in a safe house.

Back at Juliette’s she describes the book she saw the Nick vision reading as old, hand written and with a creepy drawing – and Monroe blurts out “the Trailer”. Rosalie asks “what Trailer” (has she ever been there?) and Juliette hits on Aunt Marie’s trailer. Monroe tries to downplay it but Juliette has a memory flash – old books, bottles – she was in the trailer when it all started. She wants to go there to help jog her memory. Monroe doesn’t want to take her but Rosalie and Juliette are very persuasive.

Renard texts his contact a place for them to meet with big dramatic music in the background. It’s received by his contact – and the man who has been following him. Hank and Nick tell Renard about the IT guy but he’s a super hacker and they can’t find where he lives, even though he has a working phone number, he’s hacked the system.

They go to the Grimm Trailer and find a Wesen that matches – a Fuchsteufelwild. And they have a huge list of names which are odd – but that’s because they’re all anagrams. They take the letters and the fact Jenna said his name began with a “t” to Wu so he can set his puzzle brain to work. They cross reference all of the possible anagrams with a list of all the players in the game and find – Trinket Lipslums. (Seriously? He used this name and she didn’t remember it? How could you not remember someone who introduced themselves by that name?!)

In the game (seriously, she’s playing the game?!) Jenna’s character runs into Nameless and he goes all menacing over the in-game voice system. He says she doesn’t know who he is – she says his name – and cuts his character in half, lengthways. At his little computer nest, Trinket has a little tantrum showing impressive agility and woges into a goblin (presumably a Fuchsteufelwild). He tracks down her IP address and location.

Renard meets his contact at the café, apparently things are very complicated with governments controlled by many cabals but he believes Renard’s brother and the other 6 royal families are trying to cause the dissolution of the union and take the reins of power. He gives Renard a flash drive of information, encrypted names of people involved and they’ve identified alliances. Renard insists they maintain their ties with the resistance but his contact is wary, no-one trust Miesner and he just wants to strengthen his own position. Renard thinks they need him to stop them (presumably his brother and co) ending democracy and restoring imperialism.

Aaaargh I have no idea what is happening here?! More information! More information needed!

Renard spots his contact’s follower leave a briefcase and leave – he tells the man to get down, runs, grabs the briefcase, runs to the exit and throws it out the building. The man following presses a button and it explodes. The stalker draws a gun and advances – and is met by Renard who shoots him several times in the chest then shows his badge to the crowd. He pulls out the man’s passport and sees he is a French citizen called Henri Leseuer.

At Jenna’s house, Trinket Limpsums uses his acid claws to enter her house. He tries to frighten her, enteruing her room – and both she and Nick point guns at him. he runs to the fire escape chased by Hank, Nick, Wu and a gazillion cops on the ground. Wu climbs the fire escape and Trinket cuts through the top of the ladder, leaving him hanging precariously. Nick and Hank go up the stairs and hold him at gun point – Nick revealing he knows what he is. Trinket screams that he can’t lose – and throws himself off the building to his death. I assume they then rescue Wu.

Renard takes the information he has been given, enters the password and gets a list of names and places.

Nick goes home and Monroe has bad news for him – Juliette remembers the Trailer and if Monroe doesn’t help her remember, she’s leaving Portland.

Is it just me or did they make a rather incredibly huge leap between death of computer game avatar to death of actual person?

I also have to challenge this dismissing of her standing him up as a motive. Stalkers, even violent stalkers, don’t need to be “wronged” by their target to fixate on them or hurt them. It’s deeply problematic to suggest that she must have done something more severe to invite his attention and it’s one of the reasons why stalking victims are so often disbelieved – because people don’t realise how little it can take to make a stalker obsessed.

Similarly, no matter what the IT guy did for them, it wasn’t Jenna’s job to go out with him or date him – I dislike the suggestion of criticism there. By all means it’s wrong for Jenna to not even remember him or have dismissed him as completely as she did – but she was tired and she didn’t owe him her attention or regard no matter how nice he was. Yes she owed him credit and perhaps even a slice of the profits – but not to go out with him and not to date him.

Oh and the anagrams? They’re anagrams of “Rumpelstiltskin”. Which is also were the quote is from.

But most of all – why why why why why am I watching them play online games with a goblin while Renard plays with an immense amount of world building and meta plot I don’t understand.